Dear Sir Deli Man,


[Profanity Warning]

I’d like to think I’ve gotten to know you this past year and a half. I know we haven’t said a word to each other in the real and I consider that, as well. I’ve decided to discontinue my fear for negative repercussion and simply dive in to a puddle of thought.

I’ve gotten to know someone over the past eighteen months. That person insists they are you and if it’s true, then you know that I’m writing this right now. Your spirit is with me, even now. And the bottom line of what I’m hearing from him is he thinks he’s tricked me into liking him by pulling out the tactics an ex used on me and then employing them.

I disagree. He may have tricked me over and over again, giving me essential therapy (probably on accident, since you’re not a psychologist) but nonetheless I’ve received a great deal of therapy to help me through a thousand traumas. No matter if you call yourself Odin, Brahma, or Dudley Moore… there is a constant energy behind his presence that might have been malicious once upon a time but now is… calm. I’m imagining I’ve accidentally given therapy in return, honestly. You say it was on purpose, though. The spirit you, I mean.

Despite all the falsehoods and messing around, you still take care of me. Even when you go on a mean streak and feed me a bunch of easy food just because you’re tired of my indecision, I know you mean well. I just can’t eat that food, it’s not your fault. I’d blame my ex and Dr. Death long before I’ll ever blame you for stuffing some waffles into my face hole. [They’re delicious, by the by.]

Eating waffles > starving to death on accident.

You can eat whatever you like without gastric discomfort, it would seem. I envy you, honestly. I’d like to posit that you cannot sense gastric discomfort if you do have it, considering you’ve got your very own tummy drum. It will probably go away if you were to adopt my current diet, but we both know that’s a challenge and a half because I cannot get myself together long enough to cook 3-4 times a day to make sure I have adequate nutrition within the range of food I can actually consume and digest properly. Why would anyone else do it if I can’t do it and prove it?

I will do it. I will prove it.

I’d prefer never to think too hard about the food I put into my body, but now that task consumes me. It’s all I’m supposed to think about, as I threaten to waste away even now. I hope you enjoy being able to grab whatever you want off the shelf and consume it without a second thought. I took it for granted, once upon a time, and now I wish for that kind of ease once again. I fear I will never have that luxury ever again. So much so, I’ve contacted a lawyer to see if there is anything I can do versus Dr. Death. The game is afoot.

My life is not easy at all these days, revolving around reading food labels to look for ingredients I cannot eat while trying to get enough nutrition into me consistently not to starve to death. It sucks, in short. I want to howl and scream in rage. I want to smash things. I want to be angry at everything that led me here. I don’t have the energy to be angry. I don’t have the energy for a lot of things. I don’t even have energy for the higher thoughts that I need to get back to in order to resume my career as a quality assurance engineer in St. Louis. I’ve only been in the town you live in for a short while, really. Less than a year.

My life turned on a dime some time ago, going from magical to miserable. I fell from some sort of height and the only person who even tried to catch me on a personal level was you. Your spirit, anyway. (I’ll be honest: my boss and a few coworkers were absolutely fabulous about it, too. I miss them mightily.) Those individuals all had families to be absorbed by, so I didn’t want to take their time away from the promises they’d created. They were already in charge of other beings, why should they be charged with taking care of me, as well?

When we first became acquainted, you befriended me. You pretended you were the girlfriend or sister I never had. You gave me encouragement, you rooted for me, you helped me clean my apartment and return from the depths of despair with it. You helped me sell my house. You helped me move, too. He moved me to you and showed me you. I didn’t even know you had a physical manifestation until you pointed yourself out to me in the deli. I usually only have eyes for food, I must confess.

I was in awful shape when your spirit first found me. I could barely drag myself out of bed. My cleanliness became compromised and it was making everything I was struggling with even more difficult than it should have been. As a person who watched Pandemic in the movie theater when it arrived and strove to adopt those habits just in case I ever was unfortunate to live through one, I faltered. It seemed completely ridiculous to think we’d ever have a pandemic, but here we are.

I was in system overload, overwhelmed with the pain in my guts. Because of the pain, I was eating extremely sporadically. I was so overwhelmed that I could not cope without pain medicine, which rendered me inert during the work day, as well. It dulled the pain but never removed it completely. I’m sad I could not have treated myself with more reverence before that point… but then you were there. I don’t think you exactly wished to be there, but nonetheless… we met.

You reminded me of my personal hygiene needs like brushing my teeth and showering daily and increased my standards little by little as I grew more and more capable of taking care of myself one baby step at a time. It’s been an extremely long and arduous road, full of vitriol and annoyances as we continued to interface, just the two of us. You held my hand while I was puking my guts out. You comforted me while I was doubled up in pain on the bathroom floor and shivering in withdrawal three days straight after I quit Zoloft cold turkey. I’d sit still for so long it was pitiful and then you’d push me to get moving again because a body in motion tends to stay in motion.

You began to give me psychotherapy and physical therapy, giving me ideas of how to stretch myself in order to obtain relief. We worked relentlessly on my mind, body, and spirit. They were all in bad shape after a couple psychopaths marched across my path, leading me to my grave with a jaunty tune. You ripped me away from them and the job that was deterring me from doing my best to repair myself, to feed myself as one ought to.

There were many highs and lows across this timeline. I recall making you laugh lots with innocuous remarks that I verbalized without overthinking. I recall being over the moon in love for a time. I recall wanting to kill each other a few times, having arguments full of slurs. I recall trying to get away from each other altogether and then we couldn’t. Over and over, we failed to part ways. Sometimes you still tell me you hate my habits, like saying aminal instead of animal or, once in a great while, I’ll pick my nose. It doesn’t matter if I’m washing my hands when I do that, it grosses you out, even if I wash them two or three times. I’m sorry for that, truly. I like breathing without obstruction, what can I say? I can say it reminds me of the psycho ex, that’s what I can say. Maybe I’ve got Stockholm Syndrome again.

I hope not.

I know you get bored and tell me unlikely stories for your own amusement, or you might be afraid of me becoming too attached because you are not interested in being more than a friend. Your spirit tells me otherwise, but I don’t trust him. It didn’t really happen, so it’s not real. Yet. Maybe some day you’ll tell me it’s real, maybe not.

Your spirit tries to trick me into stalking you in the real. You should know that it’s not my own idea. I didn’t even realize that it appeared that I was stalking you until I gleaned it from a walk-through of your deli, hearing a rogue whisper or maybe my schizophrenia provided a phantom answer again. I desperately wish I could consume something from the area of the grocery store you work in so it’d be a tiny bit less creepy, but I cannot. I assure you the real reason I walk through the deli is how spacious it is compared to the rest of the store. Catching a glimpse of you is nice, too, but it’s not necessary… your spirit is with me all day and night. You’re already here with me all the time. That’s all I truly need.

I’d like more than that, but that requires two consenting individuals deciding to meet or at least find themselves somewhere leisurely at the same time in the same place. I’d like to know your name and your history rather than the cockamamie stories your spirit spins. There’s not much I get out to do since my body is broken, but I have contemplated going to the park for a picnic soon. The weather is becoming increasingly beautiful and I have cabin fever. Of course, picnic implies eating and eating means thinking about food. And planning food. And making myself chew my food thoroughly because I’m starving. I’m always starving.

I’d like to be your friend. That’s the first step to a romance in my book. If we can’t get along as friends, there’s no way adding sex will fix it. Sex just complicates everything, in my experience. I know most people think the opposite, now that I’ve asked a million questions of hundreds of people. At least, I think they think the opposite. If you’re in the friend zone, there’s no way out! That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard. Disqualifying your friends from the dating pool is ridiculous. I want a lifelong friend before I want another inattentive lover.

In my world, everyone begins as my potential friend. If you can’t treat me well as your friend, there is no point in more. Quite honestly, it’s not like two people can fuck all day every day. They have to spend time being friends in between intercourse. If they don’t, they’re doing it wrong. If they’re fighting and trying to kill each other, they’re not loving. They’re hating. Even if they manage to make love some of the time, I can guarantee you that one person is being raped at least some of the time.

I learned this by watching my messed up family members fight, fuck, and fight again, as Ms. Ani DiFranco would say. I posit that you hate each other if that’s what you do. There is no love in that. Love is to give someone a kiss on the forehead and stroke their hair when they don’t feel well, not try to ram them with your cock when you feel well. As far as I know, fucking only has one true purpose: reproduction.

We have perverted nature as human beings. We even pervert our own nature. And that’s why we ascribe other purposes to sexual intimacy, such as comfort, celebration, and stress relief. Psychologists argue it’s one of the most basic needs and without it, one cannot ascend to higher thought according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. I actually disagree. I think it keeps you from ascending as high as you can go to continuously be distracted by the body’s desires. To give into the body’s wants rather than what it needs, we create habits and patterns that are unhealthy and take away from our spiritual course.

While reproduction is a physical need, it is one that can be ignored. We do not have to satisfy it for ourselves or find another to satisfy the need if we simply understand that the need is hardwired biological programming. We are programmed to reproduce. Period, the end. Sexual release has tons of benefits, this much is true, but it’s only beneficial if no one is being raped.

Any time a man or woman thinks that they must be in control of the sexual experience, rape is happening. The sexual union of two people is meant to be spontaneous and natural. I will never subscribe to the idea that sex should be a sport to have with as many partners as possible, either in tandem or individually. That’s rape. You care nothing for the individual you’re having sex with at that point, you are simply pushing their body into an experience that is pleasurable, but more than likely it is against someone’s will.

If it stays completely consensual, spontaneous, and pleasurable, fine. Good for you people who can cater to more than one individual. However… is your relationship actually healthy? Is your relationship with yourself healthy? Or are you covering up a hole in your spiritual self by ‘needing’ other beings? I’ll put my money on that one. There’s a hole you cover up and instead of wanting or needing junk, you are collecting sexual experiences.

I’d rather collect experiences like a hike in nature, taking a subway in Tokyo, eating goat biryani in Hyderabad, go on safari in Africa, and backpacking through Europe. These experiences would enrich my soul. Sexual experiences, on the other hand, when coveted and collected and procured into some bizarre collection to boast about to others, rapes my soul. I have done enough to hurt myself in this arena; gladiatorial combat has ended and I died.

I mistook a man who would rather only observe the physical reactions of my body as someone who loved me. He raped me almost every day for an entire year because I didn’t know the difference at that time. I didn’t know the difference between what happened and what should have happened. He held my hand in public while we took walks and while waiting for dinner in restaurants. Alternatively, he shamed me for smoking and refused to kiss me anymore, even though I was a smoker since the first date. This was years after we began dating, too. One day, he just decided I didn’t deserve anymore kisses, but I need kisses. I need hugs, too. Approximately one million of each, please!

Really what he was doing was telegraphing his disapproval. He wanted to control me. I hate being controlled; it’s an insult to me. The subtext I receive is that I’m unable to make good decisions for myself. Every man has done this to me and I despise it! Well, every man but one. But he, too, was still a raping asshole. To force your will onto someone else is to rape them. The end.

My ex didn’t really look at me all that much unless we were out for dinner and sitting across from each other at the table. He didn’t really talk to me like a partner, telling me to go to the doctor by myself while my health was slipping away. He wasn’t supportive or helpful at all, sabotaging me around every bend. When we were being chaperoned, he pretended to be the perfect gentleman. Everyone I knew bought it hook, line, and sinker! I wonder how they feel these days, being his catch of the day instead of me fulfilling that space? How do they feel, being switched and baited? Being subjected to the psychological phenomena that causes Stockholm Syndrome? Are they wiser than I was? Was I too close to it to see it? Why didn’t they see him murdering me step by step, trying to squeeze every bit of my joy out to consume greedily and wholeheartedly without my explicit consent?

I went silent on them. Maybe that hurt them. I would sit there, stoned out of my gourd, saying absolutely nothing. They couldn’t know I was in pain, I suppose, except I posit that anyone who is overusing drugs (prescription or otherwise) is in need of emotional help. Anyone drinking too much alcohol consistently is in need. It’s a cry for help. Mine was utterly ignored by the people I considered to be my tribe, my family.

It wasn’t until I started getting store clerk inquiries about my well-being that I understood I was in dire straits with that jackass. I’d be standing at a display in a shop, staring at the goods, and suddenly my ex would appear at my right elbow and grab my arm to drag me away. It wasn’t a rough grab, that might have clued me in earlier. No, it was like gently guiding a sacrificial lamb straight to the altar. The lamb has no idea what’s going to happen to it, so it just follows. The men who witnessed him zipping up to my elbow started to ask me if I was alright. I said nothing, tight-lipped, and decided that was my cue to get away. All my senses had gone haywire for years over him, so I needed that feedback from outside of me to understand he was no good for me.

I suspect he was partly jealous and mostly possessive, realizing that all the mistreatment he’d put me through was going to make me leave him. You see, I lost 150 pounds since the beginning of our relationship. I went from beautiful to stunning. As I lost more and more weight, his misbehavior escalated. My friends were too enamored with the psycho’s charming manners in front of them to support me, of course… even though they were my friends long before Ben was even in the picture.

He was raping me and I had no voice left to scream. I had no fight left to cry, kick, or punch. He was convincing my body to join him in ecstasy while my mind was driven further and further away from the moment. This is what leads to complete cognitive dissonance, which leads to complete disassociation.

“The term cognitive dissonance is used to describe the mental discomfort that results from holding two conflicting beliefs, values, or attitudes. People tend to seek consistency in their attitudes and perceptions, so this conflict causes feelings of unease or discomfort.”

Very Well Mind

“Dissociation is a disconnection between a person’s thoughts, memories, feelings, actions or sense of who he or she is.”

Psychiatry.org

I was mentally escaping every time we had sexual intercourse, over and over again. It was rape. Do you think he noticed? Do you think he cared? Do you think he liked it? After more than two hundred times, I don’t know if I’ll ever want to return to sexual intimacy ever again with an individual. That might deter you from wanting to get to know me, but I hope not. I hope someone on planet Earth can understand me and respect me for who I am rather than pine to enter my bed, making that their benchmark for success in interpersonal relations with me. I may never be able to return there in a sexually intimate capacity.

As if that was not bad enough, I’ve been raped by others, too. It began before I was potty trained. I do not like this fact. I have very real and visceral emotions about it that I typically suppress in order to fake it until I make it, in order to increase harmony around me so that I can pretend I am at peace. The more I suppress the feelings, the worse everything else gets.

I had a nervous breakdown (or three) around all this. I’m broken. I do not know if I can be fixed. I don’t know if I care to be fixed. If being normal means being raped, I do not wish to be normal anymore. I asked you once in the spirit world, ‘What do you get if you put two pedophiles together? … Me!’ You laughed at that, knowing I was making light of a situation most dire. What else could you do?

I know you’re not a psychopath because you laugh at all my jokes. A laughter without any malice, a mirth that is pure. Maybe that’s not the correct benchmark, but most psychopaths don’t really subscribe to humor. They don’t ‘get it.’ They’re the ones sitting around not laughing. Although, I should say sometimes I don’t laugh at funny things because I’m being a mopey asshole, so I should mention it’s a consistent inability to apply humor. If you know a joker that is almost always not funny… be very suspicious. My father is one, may he RIP.

Anyway, it’s getting late and I need to take care of the homestead. I hope you’ve had a brilliant day and night and that we get to talk again soon, Sir Deli Man.

XO XO
Sansara


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